Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

    Hoping someone can help. My husband and I love a good cappucino and currently enjoy the great cup of Illy coffee made by our local cafe but are sick of paying 4.50 a cup a day. We are extremely new at this and have never owned a coffee machine before. I am quite happy to pay up to $1500 but obviously if there are good cheaper machines available this would be great considering we are so new at this. We would need a fully automatic, fast machine and probably one with an grinder in it rather than a separate one. I know that having a separate grinder is better but we were really looking for something with speed that does everything. Also what are these Nespresso coffees that use the pods like. I know its not the real thing but .... :-?

  • #2
    Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs nikki.

    No they are not the real thing; enough said.

    Personally I dont like Illy coffee; theres a lot better out there and if you buy fresh roasted coffee and grind it yourself youll see what I mean.

    $4.50 a cup is not the only reason to head in the direction you are now going, but whatever the reason, the journey is a good one.

    The best advice I can give you is to talk to the site sponsors (links are on the left of the screen).
    Theyll look after you and work within your budget.

    Another piece of advice from me is to stretch that budget as far as you can.
    I give the same advice, be it a PC or coffee equipment.
    The more you spend now the less youll spend in the long run.

    P.S. If you mention were you are we could point out the nearest sponsors.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

      Hi Nikki,

      Superautomatic machines will always struggle to produce decent results, and without having tasted what youre presently having I would guess itd be better than what a superautomatic can produce in that price range. Jura machines are reportedly excellent superautomatics but theyre out of your price range. Alternatively you could look at something like a Saeco Talea but youll need to tuck away a few hundred for maintenance, repairs, breakdowns etc. Basically with superautos youre paying for convenience not quality of results, and if you dont want to take a backwards step in quality from what youre having at the moment youd be better off paying the $4.50 and getting them to make it for you.

      I would second Thundergods comments and strongly encourage you to look at a more manual machine. For the same money youre looking at spending, you could get, for example, a Rancilio Silvia, Compak K3, Mazzer Mini or Macap M4 grinder and still have a couple of hundred left for accessories and beans. If you could push the budget a bit higher you may be able to get in with a Vibiemme Domobar Levetta instead of the Silvia. Either combo is undoubtedly capable of better results from a superauto at the same price (perhaps full-stop), and probably better than the Illy stuff youre getting at the moment, and after a few days practice Im sure youll be happy with the results youre getting.

      Many site sponsors will give you a hand getting started with training and let you use the machines youre looking at so you get a hands-on idea of what its about. I realise it probably all looks a bit confusing to start with, but so is anything new and once youre familiar with what does what its a lot easier.

      Good luck!

      Greg

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

        Thanks so much for the help so far - Im in Perth, WA - close to the city so if you could point in me in the direction of the right sponser then that would be great

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

          Oh dear! Perth is the only city we dont have any sponsors at this stage. There are a couple of non-sponsor outlets over there; however I was in Perth for 6 months last year and found the service and salesperson knowledge to be quite poor. Because of this, most Perth snobs have bought from sponsors in th eastern states and had excellent results.

          The best thing to start with would be to have a browse through http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=Sponsors and see whats on offer as a number of our sponsors would be more than happy to help out both with specialised advice and a package thatll suit your needs. The Coffee Barun in Adelaide is probably the closest to you, however when things are getting shipped from interstate it makes little difference whether its from Adelaide, Canberra or Melbourne.

          Good luck!
          Greg

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

            Hi Nikki, I purchased my Silvia from one of the outlets Greg mentioned and I concur, the knowledge of the salesperson was suspect, knowing only the basics about machines, they sold me a tamper that was totally inappropriate for Silvia, didnt offer me any cleaning products, backflush disc etc all of which I had to cajole out of them at a later date.
            One of the CS sponsors interestate could probably offer you a good deal on hardware and delivery etc.
            Good luck with your selection and eventual purchase
            Trevor

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

              split your $1500 into a machine and grinder 1/2 each.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

                Originally posted by nikkikirks link=1200807884/0#3 date=1200809877
                Thanks so much for the help so far - Im in Perth, WA - close to the city so if you could point in me in the direction of the right sponser then that would be great
                I am in Perth also and found it lacking when looking for a machine, I ended having to get my Silvia from the east (Canberra) from one of the sponsors.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

                  OK OK I think youve convinced me. But why is it so - that you do better with a separate grinder, tampers etc and a more manual machine ?? Can someone explain the mechanics (basically) to me

                  Thanks so much for your help to date

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

                    You do better with seperate components because you have more control over the variables.

                    A good grinder allows you to grind your coffee just before you make it, and have a consistent output. This is the only way to get the best out of beans. It also allows you to make adjustments to the grind if required. Pre-ground will be stale and will not allow for adjustments and a cheap grinder will not deliver the same results consistently.

                    A good tamper contributes greatly to a repeatable process. If you always load your portafilter to the same level and always tamp in the same way, your main variable will then be the grind of your beans. There is a lot to be said about the science of the tamp, but you can investigate that later if you want to.

                    A more manual machine is a personal choice. Most members here are chasing exceptional coffee. Being able to adjust or control more parts, helps in that chase.

                    Hope that helps.

                    Brett.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

                      Hi Nikki and welcome aboard the CS train!

                      Simply, and as a general rule, multi-purpose equipment includes comprimises, whereas purpose built equipment is designed to perform one part of the process, and do it well. A bit like the difference between going to see a GP compared to a specialist (no offense intended to our medico members).

                      Id also suggest that as ones skills develop, manual machines allow the operator to be in control of each process, and therefore able to manipulate those variables in search of the ever elusive godshot.

                      Hope that helps.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

                        Originally posted by nikkikirks link=1200807884/0#8 date=1201040708
                        OK OK I think youve convinced me. But why is it so - that you do better with a separate grinder, tampers etc and a more manual machine ?? Can someone explain the mechanics (basically) to me

                        Thanks so much for your help to date
                        Hi nikki...

                        First let me state that making a great (or even a good) coffee is an art not a science (and my background is science/engineering).....

                        A computer controlled device couldnt paint the Mona Lisa.... it probably couldnt even make a near perfect copy!

                        There are a LOT of mechanical and electronics bits in a super automatic which try to emulate what the hands, eyes and most importantly the human brain of the barista does.... these can get pretty close to what a human can with enough quality components and great design.... but will never actually be as good as a person.....

                        All this complexity comes at a considerable price.... many times the price of a manual machine.... so with most superautos.... corners are cut to reduce the price.... leading to a reduction in quality of the coffee and also the longevity and reliability of the machine.... only something like a Jura is made to a reasonable build quality... and they are quite a bit more expensive....

                        There is also the built in grinder.... which being in the machine.... heats the beans and causes them to age rapidly.... and again to keep costs down they are generally not of the same build quality as the stand alone grinders....

                        So its all about how well a "robot" can emulate what a human can do... with the added problem that everyone wants to pay very little for the robot.... so quality suffers.

                        Yes, they will provide consistent results... whilst they are working that is :.... but the results will not be as good as is possible with a thinking human being driving the process manually.... and at the consumer end of superautomatics the gap is HUGE!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

                          lol - snap Brett! ;D

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

                            nikkikirks, basically, if you can help it, stay away from superautos. Im gonna straight out say theyre not worth the money. Your money would be better spent going (with your husband, a good bonding experience too), and doing a basic barista course, learning the basic little ins and outs, picking up a machine like a Silvia, Gaggia Classic, 6910, etc; getting a good grinder, anything from an Iberital Challenge, Ascaso mini or similar, or Rocky (see Equipment Information Links for all this equipment), contacting a site sponsor, who are all great to chat with, and going down that line.
                            I can almost guarantee that within a years time, if you get the superauto, youll be looking back saying, "Gee I wish I didnt get this machine and spent my money on a manual machine instead."

                            I think this will all add to your coffee drinking experience. Youve already started the whole
                            experience coming to this forum. And with a budget of $1500 you should even have a spare $4.50 to go and grab a take away from your cafe.

                            Its not as daunting as it seems; Enjoy the ride!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: New Coffee machine - help wanted for a novice

                              Its hard for me to explain the mechanics, but a machine does not have the ability to judge and process what is happening during the coffee making process, how hard you may need to tamp for the particular coffee bean you are using, how fine the been needs to be ground to get the best quality and tasting extraction. When to stop the infusion etc etc.

                              I know this all sounds very confusing.

                              I am guessing that you do not feel confident that you can do the above process. We all started where you are, and understand. It doesnt take long to get the hang of things at all. I am able to make two cappucinos in under 5 minutes on my machine,

                              One idea I had was that you go to Epic when everybody picks up their greens and have a chat with some of the Perth CSrs

                              Post a query in the thread http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1200358250and ask and I am sure someone in perth can meet up with you and help.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X